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Nelsan Ellis, HBO’s ‘True Blood’ star dead at 39, cause of death, photos

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At 39 years, people make plan for their future, trying to settle down after making small beginnings in their previous years. For many people, it is the most opportune time to look back and make new beginning.

But, apparently not many people think of dying so young. I was apparently shocked to hear the sudden death of Nelsan Ellis. Ellis, who is best known for playing short-order cook Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s “True Blood,” has reportedly died at such a young age. He was all of 39 years.

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While announcing his death, HBO said, “We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis”.

The HBO statement said, “Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO”.




Born in the year 1977 in Harvey, Illinois, Ellis was cast as Lafayette Reynolds in the pilot for True Blood, as a short order cook at Merlotte’s, a drug dealer, a member of Jason Stackhouse’s road crew, and Tara Thornton’s cousin in 2007. The pilot was shot in the early summer of 2007 and was officially ordered to series in August. Production on the series began later that fall.

In casting, Alan Ball had concerns that the character’s sexuality would be a dominating trait, “because you don’t want to bring in someone who’s going to play that in a phony way”. Nelsan Ellis says that it took him a few episodes to find the character and get under its skin. Ellis says that he based many of Lafayette’s mannerisms on his mother and his sister, and that the costuming also helps him get into character.

His death was also mourned by the Alan Ball, the executive producer of the show. “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege”, said Alan Ball. Nelsan Ellis cause of death is said to be complications from heart failure.

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